Foundation Graduate Assistant, and Alumna of Falmouth School of Art’s MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, Emilia Wharfe, talks about her involvement at this year’s Truro Festival 2016…
‘This year, Truro Festival decided that it needed a Cornish mascot, and who better than Kernow’s beloved Samuel Foote. For those who don’t recognise the name, Samuel Foote was a playwright, satirist, nonsense writer and all-round prankster born in Truro – and the first ever stand up comedian!
I felt flattered when the Festival organisers approached me about doing a timeline in his honour, although terrified at the sheer size of the project.
We set out to achieve three boards, each 4ftx6ft, each towering over the kids as they interact with individual elements of the boards. I used different mediums: for example, cyanotypes to create the timeline skyline running along the bottom of the boards, inks and watercolours, and finally Adobe software to vectorise elements, so as to keep their quality of line.
Inspired by the series Horrible Histories, I had a lot of fun working on a project about such a bizarre man. It allowed me to return to ideas and theories of Nonsense that I studied during my MA and to generally paint using my funny bone.
The boards will now continue to tell the story of Samuel Foote throughout Cornwall over the next few years, visiting as many local schools as possible.
‘I had now found my first friend,’ said Tove Jansson, ‘and so my life has begun.’ I thank drawing for giving me this feeling and I thank Truro Festival for letting me share it to a larger, diverse audience. My work will continue, like Foote, to focus on the more nonsensical elements of life, using these ‘moments’ as metaphors, to create work that is at once surreal, playful and thought provoking’.